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NEW ORLEANS, La. (June 30, 2012) – Heifer International today was recognized for its work to end hunger and poverty and protect the planet by the 600,000-member Kiwanis International family, with the presentation of Kiwanis’ highest honor—the 2012 World Service Medal.
The medal, presented to Heifer International President and CEO Pierre Ferrari by Kiwanis International President Alan Penn at the organization’s annual convention in New Orleans, also provides a $10,000 grant to assist the honoree to further his or her service work.
Previous winners have included Mother Teresa, actors and humanitarians Sir Roger Moore and Audrey Hepburn and First Ladies Nancy Reagan and Rosalynn Carter.
“It is a proverb that reads, ‘Give a man a fish and he won't starve for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he won't starve for his entire life,’ ” said Penn in announcing the award. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and Earth-friendly agricultural training to families who struggle daily to survive. To date, more than 15 million families in more than 125 countries, including the United States, have been assisted to become self-reliant.
“I have had the privilege of seeing Heifer’s work first-hand while visiting Honduras on a mission trip as a child,” said Penn. “Their amazing work affected me deeply and has stayed with me all these years.”
“Heifer International is honored to receive this award,” said Ferrari. “Here we have two great organizations with great legacies—Kiwanis nearly 100 years and Heifer nearly 70 years—of helping people help themselves.”
Many Kiwanis organizations around the world have contributed to or partnered with Heifer International, “so each and every Kiwanis family member has been part of the amazing transformation that has led 80 million people from poverty to prosperity,” said Ferrari.
“We all have cause to be very proud.”
As an organization dedicated to service, Kiwanis International promotes the ideals of service not only among its members, but also among young people and the public at large. The Kiwanis International Board of Trustees established the Kiwanis World Service Medal in 1985 to advance this goal by recognizing individuals and organizations that devote a significant part of their lives to meeting the needs of others.
“We are honored to be in such august company as previous winners, but we must never forget that every day, thousands of children die needlessly around the world, from treatable diseases, from correctable situations,” said Ferrari. “Kiwanis and Heifer International are both proven solutions to these problems, and we deeply appreciate this honor, but there is work yet to do and we are delighted to be pursuing those solutions with you.”
About Heifer International
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.
About Kiwanis International
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Kiwanis International is one of the world’s largest service organizations with 600,000 youth and adult members in 70 countries. Through service and fund-raising projects, Kiwanians improve the quality of life for children and their communities.